Ooty: Protect trees, grow more

Campaign on climate change in Udhagamandalam

Udhagamandalam: Tree planting programmes should no longer be a mere ritualistic exercise, said the District Forest officer, the Nilgiris North, K. Soundarapandian, while inaugurating a campaign on Climate Change organised by the Nilgiris Environment and Cultural Service Trust (NEST) at the Oxford Teacher Training Institute here on Tuesday.

The people and organisations taking saplings from the forest department should ensure that they are nurtured. Problems associated with climate change and carbon emission can be combated only by protecting the existing trees and growing more trees, he said. It should be ensured that the density of forests is not reduced.

Eucalyptus and other species are not being encouraged, he said adding the policy of the department is to promote native species only as the shola trees function like a sponge and release water throughout the year. Fire is a major source of concern to the department.

Mr. Soundarapandian said that teachers should influence the children.

The chairman, Udhagamandalam Municipal Council, R. Rajendran, who presided over the programme said that the government cannot implement schemes successfully without the cooperation of the people.

Sad turn

Referring to the planting scheme initiated by him a couple of years ago, he said that though 1,000 Jacaranda saplings had been planted in various parts of the town only about 300 have established firm roots. Emphasising the need to act more and talk less, he said that people should avoid using vehicles unnecessarily.

The Assistant Conservator of Forests Jayaraj said that the stress now is on people’s participation in the programmes of the forest department.

The people should be familiarised with the direct and indirect benefits of trees.

The Field Officer, CPR Environmental Education Centre, M. Kumaravelu, said that awareness must lead to action. The Managing Trustee, NEST, V. Sivadass, said that the economic well being of the Nilgiris is dependent on its weather.

The release of a pamphlet on climate change by Mr. Soundarapandian marked the occasion.

From THE HINDU

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